Seeking to save the third Test match, Australia’s miseries have been compounded by a back injury to skipper Michael Clarke, which has raised a question mark over his batting position going into the final day’s play of the third cricket Test here on Monday.
Cricket Australia (CA) media manager Matt Cenin said on Sunday the batsman will undergo treatment overnight and then the physiotherapist Alex Kountouris will assess his condition.
“He’ll undergo further treatment overnight. We’ll assess that and see how it settles in the morning to determine when he’s able to bat,” Cenin told reporters after the end of fourth day’s play at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium (PCA).
After conceding a lead of 91 runs, Australia were struggling at 75 for three at stumps in their second innings, still 16 behind India’s first-innings score of 499 all out.
In the current scenario, Clarke aggravating his back injury will be the last thing Australia would need.
Due to the skipper’s sore back, the out-of-form Phillip Hughes, Steven Smith and night-watchman Nathan Lyon were promoted up the order in the second innings.
Hughes, though, finally made it count with a gritty half-century, after seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar rocked the Australia top-order with the wickets of David Warner, Ed Cowan and Smith.
Clarke has a history of back problems and he is learnt to have picked up the latest one during some warm-up game in Australia.
Having lost the first two matches in Chennai and Hyderabad, Australia are training 0-2 in the series, and face the prospect of suffering their biggest-ever series defeat to India.